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  1. #1
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    Katherine Healy..How good could she have been?

    I remember seeing her skate and just thought of her again today. If she had stayed in skating, instead of going to the ballet, how good could she have been? She seemed very focused and gifted.

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    She couldn't jump. I mean she could do some double jumps, but they were far from text-book. I doubted she would've been able to do even a triple toe or sal with those long limbs of hers. She looked great with the non-jump elements though.

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    I've seen her in person, she is quite tiny. She was doing beautiful double axels at 11.

    However, from what I've heard, ballet dancers are discouraged from doing sports because the muscles they develop distort their lines and inhibit their stretch - so she was probably discouraged from training too much at skating at an early age.

    At any rate I can't picture her grabbing her foot, pulling it next to her ear, and displaying her crotch to the audience. I don't think competitive skating would have been for her!

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    Well, she would have been competing in the 1980s, when there was less reward for those kinds of positions.

    And she still would have been doing high arabesque spirals that display the crotch.

    If she had beautiful double axels at 11, then she probably had the athletic talent to be relatively successful in 1980s competition if she had focused on training for skating over ballet. World-team level, probably not. Nationals/minor internationals? Could be.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    At any rate I can't picture her grabbing her foot, pulling it next to her ear, and displaying her crotch to the audience. I don't think competitive skating would have been for her!
    Why not? She could do the oversplits in a split jump, so why couldn't she do an I-spin?

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    If anyone has seen Healey's Don Quixote skate from around 1997, it is simply magic.

    But yes, if she'd competed, remember that U.S ladies were a world powerhouse in the 80s.

    So, to compete against the likes of Zayak, Sumners, Thomas and Kadavy, she would have needed a 3sal, 3toe, 3loop, and maybe a 3flip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Why not? She could do the oversplits in a split jump, so why couldn't she do an I-spin?
    I was thinking of that move where they glide on one foot and grab their blade and pull their foot next to their head. I think that is the most unattractive move anyone can do. I assume people do it for points. I can't picture her wanting to do it.

    I'm not a big fan of catch foot moves period. I think many people do them to disguise poor extension and stretch which obviously isn't a problem for her.

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    If she had beautiful double axels at 11, then she probably had the athletic talent to be relatively successful in 1980s competition if she had focused on training for skating over ballet. World-team level, probably not. Nationals/minor internationals? Could be.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe pairs with John Curry?

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    Were they even doing I-spins then? Since this would have been pre-Oksana and pre-Sasha, Her balletic sytle would have been newer and probably well received.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrellH View Post
    Were they even doing I-spins then?
    Not that I know of. There were occasional Biellmanns (ever since Denise, natch), high catch-foot camels, and Y spins but not with full split that I can recall.

    Spirals weren't a required element until 1989.

    Rory Flack is the most flexible skater of the era I think of. Can't find any of her amateur performances online though.

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    If KH had the double axel at 11 I don't see why she couldn't have the 3 salchow and 3 toe loop, at least. Once one has the 2A, the 3S is not far, and the 3T neither. Having the atlhletic hability to land a hard jump at 11 gives hopes for triple jumps.
    To perform competitively in FS she would have had to give up ballet because the muscles training is so different, intensive training of both can't work IMO from a certain level.

    She made a choice and as ballet dancer she actually reached a very high level, winning prestigious awards at a very young age. As a skater she would have probably been brilliant. As for being an international competitor, I don't know since many other aspects are to take into account, starting from the mental strenght to do the jumps when it counts, as well as the field of competitors, and the will to just compete. But she seemed to have what was needed to do well in FS.

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    She was a vision but IIRC she was also painfully slow.

  13. #13

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    Yeah.

    If she'd focused her training on skating she might have ended up skating faster and jumping higher than she did. Probably still not at the level of the best in the world.

    Most likely her strengths would have been school figures and the second mark.

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    does anyone have a link to a skating video?

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    Forget the jumps, how were her figures? Those took a lot of time to develop and without them any jumping problems would have been moot.

    She probably could have gotten very good at them but there are only so many hours in the day and ballet and freeskating wouldn't leave much time for her to develop world class elite figures....
    Last edited by Mafke; 12-01-2010 at 05:21 PM.

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    Prima - Katherine Healy Montage
    I made this ages ago but recently Katherine herself left a lovely comment on it.

    MSG Superskates 1976 aged 6

    Casta Diva 1989

    Katherine Healy was pretty much a genius. This is a girl who skated in prestigious skating galas from the age of 6, appeared in a major movie aged 12, turned pro as a skater aged 12, won Varna at 13, was a prima ballerina with the ENB at 15, quit dancing professionally to go to Princeton and graduate in Art History Magna cum Laude, then returned to dance professionally in Vienna, before finally returning to skating in 1997 after not being on the ice for 7 years. If she had wanted to become World FS champion then she would have done everything in her considerable powers to make that happen. She chose ballet over skating though at a very young age and that was that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Prima - Katherine Healy Montage
    I made this ages ago but recently Katherine herself left a lovely comment on it.
    Beautiful !
    The thing is that usually, flexible skaters don't have the strenght on the legs to jump easily. But I guess that she would have worked on that if she wanted to be a FS champion.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Beautiful !
    The thing is that usually, flexible skaters don't have the strenght on the legs to jump easily. But I guess that she would have worked on that if she wanted to be a FS champion.
    Thanks
    She had very good elevation as a dancer so there's no reason to suppose that this couldn't be translated to the ice using the proper technique. What is very clear when you watch her young skating videos, is that she translated her ballet technique to her skating which was great for aesthetics but not so great for jumping, i.e. spotting her mid air rotations and jumping with turned out hips. If her jumping technique wasn't influenced by ballet, who knows how good a jumper she would have been.

    One area where her skating certainly influenced her dancing was in her formidable ability to turn. Here's a clip of her own virtuosic variation on the infamous 32 fouettes from Le Corsaire:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLIKrIQZSY

    It's so ridiculously amazing and she brings down the house

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Prima - Katherine Healy Montage
    I made this ages ago but recently Katherine herself left a lovely comment on it.
    One of the loveliest tributes I've seen in a long time. The free foot on the layback beginning at 1:07 actually made me catch my breath a bit - it is just so sublime. I loved how you slowed down the video at certain points to let us better appreciate Katherine's most eye-catching moments.

    If today's skaters had even an iota of this woman's grace, the skating world would be much better off. Those imbecilic Yunabots spouting off in the GSD should take a look at Katherine Healy to understand what true beauty of movement can look like.

  20. #20

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    I knew Katherine when she was skating and I don't believe she ever had a double axel. Double jumps were very difficult for her.

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